UAA is idle this weekend, so the Seawolves turned to scoreboard-watching, and there was no encouraging news there.
In the three WCHA games played, teams below fourth-place UAA in the standings all won.
Michigan Tech is now tied seventh place after its 5-2 win at third-place Bowling Green. Northern Michigan remains in sixth after beating visiting and second-place Minnesota State-Mankato 5-2. And UAF moved into a tie for seventh by dispatching 10th-place Alabama-Huntsville, 6-1, in Fairbanks.
UAA (9-8-3 WCHA) owns 21 points. Bemidji State is fifth with 20 points, Northern Michigan is sixth with 19 (and three games in hand on UAA and Bemidji), and UAF and Michigan Tech are tied for seventh with 18 points.
So, basically, fourth place through eighth place are separated by just three points.
Fourth is a crucial spot because it is the last place that gains home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs. Eighth is crucial too because it's the last position that will put a team in the first round. In the WCHA this season, the ninth-place and 10th-place finishers to not qualify for the playoffs.
For those counting, UAA has eight league games remaining, as does Bemidji. Northern Michigan has a whopping 11 league games left, UAF has seven remaining, Michigan Tech has nine left and ninth-place Lake Superior State (16 points) has 10 league games left.
That means UAA still has a lot of work ahead of itself, as does UAF.
By DOYLE WOODY, adn.com